Author Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Former Teacher Inducted into Consumer Hall of Fame for Sharing His Road to Recovery

Daric Desautel, 2019 Consumer Hall of Fame Recipient

He has a background in education, advocacy, social justice and he once served in the U.S. Army. But Daric Desautel, a former elementary school teacher, found his way to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, San Mateo County while in the midst of his own personal battle with bipolar disorder and addiction.

Since making a full recovery, Daric has dedicated himself to helping others find their way to wellness by serving as a mentor, support group facilitator, and graciously sharing his own lived experience.

Though he now works in substance abuse treatment at the Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto Health Care System, Daric remains active in NAMI SMC.  

The Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission inducted him into this years’ 2019 Consumer Hall of Fame Award for his outstanding track record of selfless service.

To learn more about Daric and Consumer Hall of Fame awards read the full article here.

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New class aims to change perception of mental illness in Latino community

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The six-week course known as “NAMI Basics,” provides basic mental health support training based on protocols from the National Alliance for Mental Illness. NAMI Basics, offered for the first time in Spanish on the Coastside, offers information and guided support for family members and caregivers of youth and young adults with mental health disorders and is graduating its first class of participants next week.

Overall, the Latino community does not talk about mental health issues so there is a general lack of information and misunderstanding about the subject,” according to information provided on NAMI’s website.

“Some people refuse to acknowledge that their kids have mental health issues. We want them to know that they are not alone,” said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Sgt. Victor Lopez.

Click here to read more about this unique program.

Affordable Housing Available in Redwood City

Affordable Housing Unit Waitlist Opening 6/3/19-6/14/19

The Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo will be accepting online applications between 6/3/19 and 6/14/19 for the Mosaic Garden Project-Based waiting list. 

Mosaic Garden is located at 3770 Rolison Road in Redwood City.  With the exception of one 1-bedroom unit, all units at Mosaic Garden are studios. The property is currently undergoing rehab that, based on MidPen Housing’s best estimate, will be completed in late September 2019.

Interested parties may register online at www.mysmchousing.com during the opening period.

Please download a copy of the flyer below for additional information regarding the opening.

Stories of Hope

The sharing of a personal story can be self-reflective, educational, de-stigmatizing and incredibly empowering. During Mental Health Awareness Month, we share stories of hope, resilience and recovery from those who have experienced mental health and substance use issues. These individuals are sharing their stories in the hope that others will be inspired to seek help, and join them on the path to recovery.

I turned to alcohol for relief. My self-stigma was so ingrained that I preferred to be considered an alcoholic than to be mentally ill,” said Yoshi who first experienced mental health stigma at age 4 when her mother had a psychotic break and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Daniel, who started smoking and drinking at age 12, and cocaine, speed and needles by age 18, shares, ” My inner world was dark, cold and lonely and I used drugs to cope with the feelings of failure and depression, believing it had ruined my life and was beyond redemption or salvation.  Those years were the darkest and most dismal years of my life.

Read their stories and more at on the BHRS online newsletter Wellness Matters.